Welcome to a series from Culture Shock, Be Younonymous. Here, anonymous members of the BU community contribute their stories from campus life and beyond under the condition of complete secrecy. Have a story? e-mail it to Beyounonymous@bucultureshock.com . We’ll take it to our servers’ graves.
This has just been on my mind lately.
When in college, we find ourselves living in large communities of people, most of whom we do not know. Some of us will, for the first time, be doing what others of us have been doing all our lives: sharing. We share bathrooms, lunch tables, washers and dryers, rooms, floors, study lounges, and common rooms, just to name a few. We all went to elementary school, and many of us went to Kindergarten. In these first few years of our lives “sharing” was drilled into our heads. We were taught not to be selfish and cry just because we didn’t get what we wanted. Now, some of us succeeded in this area, while others utterly failed. Whether we succeeded or failed, these skills are put to test here in college.
My biggest pet peeve is when someone just doesn’t get that this is a vital skill to surviving college with a sane mind, for themselves and those around them. It’s not just that we need to know how to share our common spaces and places but, that we also need to have a little bit of common courtesy. Is it too much to ask that:
- If someone drops their pencil at your feet and they can’t reach it that you bend down to get it for them?
- If you are walking head on towards someone who has no room to go anywhere but you do, that you move over?
- If the dryer your laundry is in is finished, you remove your clothing in a timely fashion so someone else can use the dryer?
- If you have to walk through an adjoining room to use the bathroom, that you leave the door the way it was when you found it? (And that you don’t barge into the room like you have every right, when the only right you have is to politely walk through to the bathroom? Or that you don’t sing at the top of you lungs in the shower [that noise carries through the wall]?)
- If you see someone coming for the elevator that you kindly hold it for them?
If someone is looking all over the dining area for a seat and there are none, but you’re sitting at a table for six by your lonesome, that you offer them a seat?
These are just a few example of common courtesy, or what I liked to call “being socially aware.” In today’s society, we are all about the me, me, me and the now, now, now. Well, what happens when these two concepts collide? We have one person who has selfishly gotten what they wanted while another person has, in all likelihood, been angered. All it takes is to just be aware of the affect of whatever it is you are doing on others around you and take that into consideration.
Is this really too much to ask?